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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who Doesn't Love a Top Ten?

At We're In This Thing, we obviously do. So, here are my top ten sports stories of 2010.

10. Butler v. Duke
The premier basketball story of the year. The Cinderella that almost was. Just getting there was amazing, to come as close as they did to winning, well... you can't do much better. It's hard for me to articulate exactly what it means. We are entering an age where the mid-majors have come to play. Between Memphis, Butler, San Diego State, Gonzaga, and others, we're soon to see more teams come out and play in the tourney. Better teams mean better pizza, I mean basketball. It's hard not to be excited for it.

9. Concussions and Hits
The NFL is at a crossroads. Gooddell has done everything in his power to screw things up. Now, with what seems to be a rise in vicious hits coupled with new evidence about the long term effects of head injury, football as we know it is about to be redefined. For better or for worse, its going to be a whole different game in the next few years.

8. Year of the Pitcher
Though it wasn't 1968, 2010 featured beautiful pitching all season. And fantastically, from unlikely sources. Dallas Braden, Matt Garza, Ubaldo, Morrow... all now added in the same breath as fantastic performances from Doc Halladay, Lee, King Felix, Big Time Timmy Jim. We saw something special.

7. Armando Galarraga
I think it's all been said before. Jim Joyce missed a call that would have given a starter fighting for his spot in the rotation a perfecto. It's a great story. I think a recent article from ESPN's Outside the Lines really captures the story best.

6. TCU and Boise State and Why the BCS is terrible
Really, enough said. This does not only apply to them. It also applies to the Nevada's, the BYU's etc. Why the hell were nine Big 12 teams in bowls? It's a subject that has been beaten to death. The only way to do it is a playoff. End of story. But, with the Rose Bowl win by TCU, a much stronger case has been made.

5. World Cup
Yeah, it happened this summer. Remember? South Africa? Yeah. What I saw in the streets of the USA over the summer was exciting. A world event is exciting every time it happens. I believe that the World Cup upstaged the Olympics. Yeah, those happened this year too. Vancouver? Yeah. If it wasn't here before, soccer has a place in the states.

4. The New PGA
OK, I admit it. I like golf. Though the sports media wants to tell you it's about Tiger's story, the new PGA commercial is actually sending the right message. It's about everyone else again. Phil, Rory, Paul, Justin, Lee, Ernie, Retief. How many last names did you get? It's a big field out there, anyone can win every weekend. Though it may not have the romance of such a dominant player, it was a very interesting season to watch, and it will precipitate an even more interesting 2011 as Tiger tries to make his comeback.

3. Saints Win the Superbowl
It was the story of a franchise who had never won anything, in a city that needed hope. It was poetic. It was a long time coming. It was ballsy, after going down in the first half and coming out with the onside kick. Though my counterpart will argue that the previous Super Bowl was much more entertaining, and maybe it was, this one had the bigger stories behind it.

2. Bears Win Pac-10
This was a pet choice for me. Because most people forgot about it, it needed to be said. The Golden Bear men's basketball team won the Pacific-10 Conference for the first time since 1959. WHAT?! We got to see two of the best Golden Bears in history perform at an amazingly high level, and two more finish fabulous careers. Confetti is a nice thing.

1. Giants Win the World Series
Really, not enough can be said about what we witnessed this summer. A ragtag bunch of young players and free agents nobody else wanted did what everyone thought they couldn't do. i have a feeling Frank might expand on this further, but yes. It is absolutely my top story of the year.

Argue as you see fit

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